22 January 2006

Election Eve

This was sent to me in an e-mail from my mother. I like the idea of people voting for what they might actually believe instead of what the media has presented.

After the last US presidential election, a poll was conducted asking voters what their thoughts were on a number of government and policy issues, comparing the Republican platform to that of the Democrats. To their surprise, a strong majority of the people who had voted Republican resoundingly agreed with Democrat policies.

So why the disconnect? It seems that many people base their vote on superficial things like "He seems trustworthy" or "That's just how I always vote". Unfortunately, trustworthiness can't be legislated but a lot of other things that are much more likely to impact your life can.

Below is a link to a "Quiz" created by the CBC to help undecided or uninformed voters determine which party platform best represents their views on actual ISSUES. For each of 12 main campaign issues, you select whether you agree or disagree (or neither) with 4 statements. Each statement represents the agenda of one party, although you aren't told which until the end.

So please take a few minutes to go through it - you'll feel much better about your vote than if you were to base it on mud-slinging and rhetoric....

CBC Canada Votes 2006 :: Vote By Issue Quiz

16 January 2006

Nothing kills a good mood like a Monday

There's something about waking up on a Monday morning that is just spirit-crushing. The thought that you have to go through another 5 days before you take control of your life again is a little demoralizing. So, even though I was fully awake when my alarm went off at 7:12 this morning, I just couldn't move. Off it went. 7:26 turned into a half-hour snooze marathon. All I accomplished was being 15 minutes late for work, and more cranky and overtired than when my alarm went off in the first place.

I was in denial. Saturday was a write-off as far as I'm concerned. I had another crying fit. I went to massage (ow). Andrew and I attempted to go to the Farmers' Market, but we were too late. After running some other errands, I decided to go for a walk. I was out for about 45 minutes and it was just about the least invigorating walk I've ever been on. Part-way out, I started wondering how I was going to get back home. I was so tired in so many ways. I was ready to let a doctor hook me up to an anti-depressant IV.

Last year I wrote a post about SAD. The more I read about it, the more I'm convinced that I'm subject to it. Of course, there's one line on WebMD that says that one should not self-diagnose SAD -- a doctor needs to be involved. They don't really explain the dangers, but I would suspect that it relates to misdiagnosing more serious, long-term forms of depression.

I meant to talk to my doctor about the possibility that I have SAD back in the late-summer/early-fall. But it seemed so irrelevent at the time. My original logic was that by talking to him early, I could avoid a prescription and get on a waiting list and be able to talk to a mental health professional by the time it started to affect me. Well, now I think it may have crept up on me and attackeed full-force over Christmas.

I'm mostly afraid that it's too late to do anything this year. I talked to my favourite Health Shoppe proprietor and he recommended SAM-e. He had a bottle on sale for half-price, so I bought it and decided to give it a try. I sure am self-medicating and self-diagnosing! I sure don't really care right now! I'm more concerned with getting back to feeling more like myself and less like a waterfall.

I did feel a lot better yesterday, but I'm not sure what the difference was. I still didn't sleep well Saturday night; the weather was still shite. I woke up in a good mood. I decided to share my good mood with Robyn. I hopped in the car and drove down to w/v to spend the afternoon with her. We tried to go to our favourite cheese farm but we didn't have the "chance" that they advertised might facilitate them being open on a Sunday in January. We took a pass on the wool shop and instead settled on painting pottery. Robyn started using pointillism to paint a sunflower on a platter. I started on a mug and intended to make it pretty with crescent moons and stars, but ran out of time so instead opted for a "C" in puff paint behind the handle. It's a big mug. I plan on bringing it to work and using it for massively quenching my tea cravings.

After the pottery place closed, we went to the pub where Kurt works, ostensibly so Robyn could get the house keys. We stayed for almost 2 hours and chatted and had a small snack. I left around 7 to drive back home, fearful of the dropping temperatures and whether the roads would be getting icy. In the 2 hours we were in the pub, there was a noticible temperature drop; like winter decided to make an appearance.

I enjoy day trips with Robyn. I don't want her to go somewhere that makes those impossible. Sure, other people can go to the cheese farm with me, and there are pottery places in town, but it will be different. Sort of how phone dates with Foo or Lani are fun, but don't compare to Foo-time or a sushi date. I know I should say "I need to make some local friends," but really I just want my friends to be closer. My weeks can be quite busy and relatively social, but I crave more.

I wish today were a holiday. Coming down off yesterday's high is proving to be anti-fun. Can we fix this, please? I don't want to wait 3 months for Easter. In some Caribbean countries they have snow festivals with the white stuff shipped from nothern climes. I think we need a tropical festival where someone sets up heat lamps and trucks in sand.

10 January 2006

It's Over

Christmas has come and gone again. And with it goes the now-perennial debate over the political-correctness of wishing someone "Merry Christmas".

It's too bad that our mass attention span lasts 6 weeks or less.

I'd blame the 24-hour cable news networks, but after repeated 24-hour segments of the same stuff, I'd want them to change the subject, too. Oh, wait. I can still blame them.

Yes, it's two weeks later, but I still miss Christmas. It was hard this year. And really weird. I was officially a "guest" for the first time in 26 years of Christmas. Even when I was at Acadia, I was home every weekend, so I was there to help with the preparations; the baking, the decorating, the planning, the shopping, the fighting....

This year I arrived the evening of Christmas Eve Eve, did last minute baking, slept (not), did getting-ready-for-party stuff, went to Andrew's, went to church, went home for Christmas Eve party, slept (not), got up, opened presents, ate brunch with family, prepared for Christmas dinner, hosted dinner, slept (not), and then the crying started.

From Boxing Day to New Year's Day, I cried. Not constantly, but regularly. The day after Boxing Day was the worst. That's the day I finally went back to my condo and I cried pretty much all day. I was feeling so lonely and... out. I think I avoided people most of the day. I didn't have the words to describe what was wrong. I still don't. I'm still a little sad. Many good friends say it's due to going through a lot of change all at once. This is possible. However, that still doesn't feel like it gets to the root of it.

Today, the problem is compunded. Actually, this has been on my mind for a couple of days: Today is the two year anniversary of Tripper's death. That's not a fun thing to remember. It came up with my grandfather over Christmas. It was a simple comment: "I misses Tripper. It's quiet without him." Christmas really is one of the times when I'm most aware of his absence. He loved Christmas. Now, in his little doggy head, I don't know how it seemed to him, but to us it seemed like he loved the presents, he loved the activity, he loved the food, and he loved that the whole family was there to celebrate. Maybe I was projecting just a little. :P

So, I feel a little sad and crazy and not sure how to come out of it, short of an all-expenses-paid vacation to a tropical location. My boss doesn't seem very willing to comply. Any suggestions?